Spain to ‘spy’ on 34 million bank accounts

The Spanish Government plans to collect data on all of the country’s 34 million bank accounts in what it calls a bid to crack down on money laundering and terrorist activity. But the move has drawn plenty of fire.

Spain plans to set up a German-style archive of data on the financial activity of Spaniards and residents in Spain, national daily El País reported on Sunday

The move will see banks having to supply details of all the personal and business current accounts, savings accounts and fixed-term accounts they hold to the Secretary of State for the Economy.

Groups including the Tax Office, the military, the General Council of the Judiciary and the secret services will then be able to access that information.

Transactions over €1,000 ($1,370) will be flagged if suspicious, while all transactions over €30,000 can be checked. Transfers of over €3,000 a month will also come under the spotlight, according to the new rules.

Judges consulted by El País expressed concern the information held could be used for political leverage, and said they already had access to information provided by the tax office for investigations into tax fraud.

One Supreme Court judge stressed, however, that account information could only be accessed with a court order.

The president of the consumer organization Facua, Rubén Sánchez, also questioned the fact the archive would be held by the secret service.

“Who will guarantee that the secret services won’t work for the government with this information?” he said.

Full article: Spain to ‘spy’ on 34 million bank accounts (The Local)

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